Fall break is nearly upon us.
Just because the kids are getting a break from the classroom doesn’t mean they need to take a break from learning. Indiana is a state steeped in history, and this is the perfect time of year to get out and explore our Hoosier heritage. Here are just a few suggestions for quick getaways packed with history.
Mounds State Park
Just outside of Anderson, this state park features 10 unique earthworks built by the prehistoric Adena-Hopewell people that date back as far as 200 B.C. An interpretive center brings the history of the mounds to life. The park’s nature center features a wildlife viewing room, animal displays, interactive games and more. Hours are 9:00am – 4:00pm daily.
On Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 – 4:00pm, you can also tour the historic Bronnenberg House, which tells the story of the family who discovered the mounds in the 1800s and fought to preserve them. For more information, visit in.gov/dnr/parklake/2977.htm.
A walk-through battlefield, located in the aptly named town of Battle Ground, affords the opportunity to step foot on the grounds of the historic battle that pitted Tecumseh’s Indian Confederacy against United States forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison and served as a precursor to the War of 1812. A museum on the grounds relays events leading up to battle, as well as its aftermath. The museum is open 10:00am – 5:00pm daily (closed Wednesdays). Learn more at tippecanoehistory.org.
Nearby, The Farm at Prophetstown, located within Prophetstown State Park, offers a unique look at 1920s farm life, as farming began the transition from animal to tractor power. The Farm serves as a training farm for sustainable agriculture, homesteading, gardening and canning, as well as farm-to-table cooking, sewing and quilting. Admission is free with state park entry. (Some special programming and workshops may require an additional admission fee.) The Farm is opens daily 10:00am – 5:00pm through the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Get all the details at prophetstown.org.
Established in 1808, the town of Corydon served as Indiana’s first state capitol from 1816 to 1825, and is centrally located in Harrison County. This history is palpable when you walk downtown Corydon’s storied streets, with most of the buildings dating to the 1800s. Historic highlights include the Constitutional Elm, Indiana’s First State Office Building, Governor Hendricks’ Headquarters and the Porter Law Office.
The Corydon Capitol State Historic Site tours include the capitol building and governor’s headquarters. For more on Corydon and the surrounding area, visit thisisindiana.org.
George Rogers National Historical Park
Founded in 1732, Vincennes is the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in Indiana and one of the oldest settlements west of the Appalachians. It is also home to George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, which gives visitors a glimpse into 18th century frontier life as experienced by pioneers along the western fringe of the American Revolution. The park features a massive granite memorial — the largest national monument outside of Washington, D.C. — that commemorates the conquest of the Old Northwest Territory.
The Memorial is located on the site of the former British Fort Sackville. Colonel George Rogers Clark and his army of 170 frontiersmen and Frenchmen captured the Fort, marking the birth of the United States north of the Ohio River. The park’s visitor center offers a 30-minute movie outlining the area’s history. Hours are 9:00am – 5:00pm daily. For more information, visit nps.gov/gero.
There is so much Hoosier history, just a short drive away. Happy exploring!